The laboratory was established in 2015 and is the part of Nanophotonics and Metamaterial Department at ITMO University. The head of the Lab is A.S. Shalin (Full Doctor of Sciences) and the international scientific adviser is Pavel Ginzburg (Ph.D). Major research activities are oriented towards investigations of opto-mechanical interactions, including optical tweezing, particles sorting, nano-opto-mechanical devices for signal processing and others. The ability of controlling mechanical motion with light opens a room of possibilities for discovering fundamental novel phenomena, along with exploring practical applications. Opto-mechanical tools are already widely used in the fields of bio-physics, nano-robotics, and nano-lithography to name just few. This research field is continuously growing nowadays and expanding to other cross-disciplinary areas. Number of research labs, publications, and patents is increasing from day to day. On the other hand, the “Nano-Opto-Mechanics” Lab at ITMO University is the only research group in Russian Federation, distinguishing the field of opto-mechanics as the major goal to studies. The international research team includes recognized world experts in the field of opto-mechanics. Among their achievements it is worth underlining the discovery of “tractor beams” - those are spatially structured light waves, attracting objects to the source. Commonly, objects are pushed away by radiation pressure. Furthermore, optical accelerators, new approaches for opto-mechanical manipulation, nano-opto-mechanical modulators and many others were proposed by the lab team.
The field of opto-mechanics is highly disciplinary and requires knowledge in various aspects of science and engineering. Having this expertise, the lab also works on optical metamaterials, metasurfaces, nonlinear optics, all-dielectric nanophotonics, transformational optics and others as a secondary scientific effort.